Lean Six Sigma – Improvement We Care For: DFCM, QI Program at U of T

It is known that most – if not all – Quality Improvement and Process Excellence experts have one goal in mind: to make processes, services, and products sustainably better. Whether various Continuous Improvement (CI) initiatives address waste in manufacturing or flow efficiency in services, we all aim at eliminating errors, deficiencies, redundancies, and variation in any given setting. When it comes to making lives better however, there are no more important initiatives than the ones that address the health and quality of living of human beings.

That is exactly what the Department of Family & Community Medicine’s (DFCM) Quality Improvement Program at the University of Toronto has been doing. Since 2010, this group of highly trained health care professionals specialized quality improvement (QI) training opportunities to DFCM including mandatory QI training for residents, QI training opportunities for faculty, an online library of quality-driven projects, and a newsletter that celebrates QI successes of the approach.

Adapted from the Institute of Medicine, the DFCM Quality Improvement Program has embraced the six quality dimensions in its quality efforts:

  1. Safety: no one should be harmed by health care.
  1. Timeliness: the right care, at the right time, in the right setting, by the right health care provider.
  1. Equitability: services to all without discrimination.
  1. Effectiveness: servicing based on the best evidence available.
  1. Efficiency: avoiding wasteful services, or services where benefits to the patient is unlikely.
  1. Patient-centered: ensuring that patient values, needs, and preferences guide clinical decisions.

These dimensions are excellence-oriented processes and they provide DFCM faculty and staff with resources and an approach that help guarantee the correct execution of QI initiatives. For example, teams at the DFCM develop and submit QI Plans each spring to support their organization’s QI goals.

It’s well known that it is extremely important to properly address the planning phase in DMAIC projects. DFCM’s emphasis on planning helps to ensure the correct approach to quality improvement projects is taken. A quick look at the DFCM’s QI Program website link will also showcase the various resources and knowledge that have been collected and put to use in the health care setting. For example, explore the program’s primary care QI newsletter for current events and success stories.

For more on DFCM Quality Improvement news please visit their home page at:

EZSigma Group is proud to be a partner of the DFCM’s efforts towards Quality Improvement. We congratulate these health care professionals for putting process excellence in the hands of those who look after the most valuable asset of all: the human life.